Tin by Pádraig Kenny

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Cover illustration by Katie Hickey

Christopher only has fleeting snatches of memories before his life at the junkyard with Mr Absalom. He’s the only ‘proper’ boy amidst the rag-tag collection of mechanical children who live there. A terrible accident sparks a chain of events that leave the mechanical friends reeling from an awful truth, as Christopher is dragged away by Agents.

They may not be ‘proper’ human children, but Jack, Rob, Manda and Gripper know they have to find their friend. With the help of Estelle, Mr Absalom’s skin maker, they set off on a quest to bring Christopher home, and along the way, discover what it means to be human.

An astounding adventure, full of hope and heart, that takes you on an emotional roller-coaster. Beautifully told, and very moving, Tin opens up big conversations about what it is that makes us human, what souls are, and the uses for artificial intelligence in a way that is easily accessible to younger readers.

Pádraig Kenny has created a stunningly imaginative world that you quickly become immersed in, where mechanicals are created using glyphs, runes and magic, within the confines of the law. Ironhaven is a feast for the senses with it’s metallic landscape, post-war London seems bleak and unfriendly, and the Crag is a place of desolation and despair.

And the characters, wow! While they may not be ‘proper’, the robotic friends are the embodiment of true friendship, displaying empathy, compassion and love for each other, and those they meet along their quest. Round Rob’s simplistic view of the world is most endearing; his cheerful, positive outlook bringing hope when it is needed most. The human characters, some of whom appear to have little humanity left in them, could learn an awful lot from him.

Perfect for fans of Cogheart and The Wizard Of Oz, and a great read for children interested in artificial intelligence and robotics.

 

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